Period Dress – IT IS FINISHED

My project is finally over. It is finished. Am I happy? Probably not as much as I should be. It totally is not as wonderful as I envisioned it, but, alas and alack, it was I making it so of course it was better in my head than it turned out. It went through many changes over its course of emergence. It had to jump through hoops to try and please its creator. But for now it is over.

I did envision at first a dress. Alas as the sewing progressed I realized that that was a bit too far for this material to come together well into a waist band. So it evolved into a skirt and Shortgown. Now with that evolution happening after the cloth was all woven, I learned my first lesson. When weaving for a project and with my brain and my often changing of the mind, weave more than you think you need for any one project or part of a project. As woven I should have had enough for skirt, bodice, and sleeves. Alas going to a shortgown meant that I was short for the bodice no matter what I did. And to top that off I have a bit left over of the sleeve material as they ended up just two smallish rectangles needed.

But enough on the bodice I do have a picture of the skirt.

The finished skirt

The finished skirt

Finished. Pressed. except for that little bulge that seemed to have defied the ironing. Finishing the skirt in and of itself was a job. The width around compounded by the thickness of the cloth just didn’t want to make a pretty pleated skirt. I asked Mark if I could gain four inches in my waist for it to be perfect and he said absolutely not. So with lots of fiddling and ending up using hooks for the closure and moving them in a bit, it does fit though still a bit loose. Will need a couple petticoats to help hold it up and chemise and other underthings to fatten me out.

Trying to get the waist pinned

Trying to get the waist pinned

There are quite a few weaving mistakes that went unnoticed. So there is “character” to it. Some I told Mark I did on purpose so that spot would have a nice accent to it. Not sure that will fly though. There is the band around the bottom of the stripes that actually covers the too wide of stripe on one panel. Two panels absolutely perfect and one with mistakes and too wide. I’m thinking there was some day in there I should not have been sitting at a loom at all. How did I not catch at least the width with all my careful measuring? Especially when two nailed it perfectly. But anyway, after a couple tries, we came up with a trim idea that worked and covers the too wide stripe. It looks perfectly measured whether it was or not.

I also did all the sewing by hand that would show so the only machine sewing on this was the lining panel to the hem. I then tacked it up by hand. The waistband is all by hand but as thick as it got, it would have cruel and unusual punishment to have even tried to make a machine sew it whether it showed or not. Then of course my felled seams down the sides were by hand.

The bodice doesn’t make a good picture by itself so will get one when I dress out in the outfit – maybe tomorrow. It is Heritage Day and that was the goal to finish this. But did you notice all that white? Do I want to wear it out where it is rainy, wet, icky, … Not sure I do but the forecast is better for Saturday so will see if the Shortgown only gets worn (with another skirt) or the skirt ventures out as well. It would be warm which is a plus.

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Categories: Weaving | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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